With Earth Day being this month, a lot of people are thinking about ways they can become more environmentally friendly. I went to a teacher’s workshop back in 1988 and learned a few tips to teach my class…just remember the “3 R’s.” (Check to see what your community does.)
- RECYCLE – We’ve been recycling for over 15 years. A truck comes weekly and picks up recycling from our recycling bin which we place out by the curb with our trash can. If you don’t have this option, check on locations of recycling stations in your area.
- Plastics – Check for your area as to which plastics they recycle. I know for our area, they recycle #1-#5 & #7. If you don’t know how to tell what the recycling number is for plastics, look on the bottom of the container and find the triangle. There will be a number inside of it.
- Glass – Our area recycles clear glass. Check for your area.
- Paper – Our area will take newspapers and cardboard.
- Plastic grocery bags – I don’t put these out by the curb, but there are a couple of grocery stores in the area that recycle bags. I take them to the grocery store to recycle where there is a recycling receptacle for them by the front door of the store.
- REUSE – Some items can be used more than once.
- Donate – Give things to a charity. (I know someone who threw away a pair of good pants because they didn’t fit her anymore.)
- Hand-me-downs – Give something to a relative or friend who can use it.
- Reuse paper grocery bags – Use them for trash instead of buying new plastic liners for a trash can. If the bags aren’t soiled, empty them when they are full of trash and reuse again.
- Reuse plastic cereal bags – Line the bottom of your trash bag (the paper grocery bag) so it doesn’t leak. Use them for chicken bones and other smelly garbage. Use a twisty to help contain the smell.
- Reuse gift bags – My friends and I have done that for birthdays and Christmas many years, and sometimes we would get back a gift bag that we had originally given out. We didn’t care…we’d laugh about it.
- REDUCE -Reduce the amount of natural resources that you consume.
- Reduce paper – Read the newspaper online and help save trees. I like not having to deal with all the paper accumulation.
- Reduce gasoline – Plan errands efficiently so that the least amount of gas is used. Try to group errands together that are close in proximity. If your destination is close enough, walk or ride a bike (great exercise). Car pool when possible.
- Reduce wattage – Use fluorescent light bulbs that are energy efficient. We are buying more and more of these bulbs until we have all of our bulbs replaced. (except for the decorator bulbs)
- Reduce heating & cooling – Set the thermostat a few degrees warmer in the summer and use ceiling fans or floor fans. Set the thermostat a few degrees cooler in the winter and wear a sweater in the house.
- Reduce water – Use energy efficient shower heads and take shorter showers. (I need to work on this one about shorter showers!) Only use the dishwasher or clothes washer when full. A full dishwasher actually saves water versus washing by hand. TURN THE WATER OFF WHILE BRUSHING TEETH. So much water is wasted just from this habit alone. Wet the toothbrush, turn the water off, brush teeth, and then turn the water back on.
There are a lot of other things you can do that I haven’t mentioned or haven’t thought about. If you have a good idea, I’d love to hear about it!